Kenting National Park

Overview

Introduction

In the southernmost region of Taiwan, Kenting National Park offers scenic routes and paved paths lined with some 1,300 species of exotic plants (each marked with its Latin, English and Chinese names). This 70-sq-mi/175-sq-km peninsula is 220 mi/355 km south of Taipei. The roads and paths also skirt sand beaches and coral reefs, so keep your swimsuit handy.

Specific attractions in Kenting National Park include the 450-ft/140-m Fairy Cave of stalactites and stalagmites, a deep gorge called One-Line Sky, and the Valley of Hanging Banyan Roots. Trekkers can take the one-hour hike from First Gorge through the jungle and bird preserve of the Tropical Tree Preservation Area.

On the extreme southern edge of the national park lie Sail Rock and the lighthouse at Oluanpi Park, which marks the island's southernmost point.

Kenting, Taiwan, has seen rapid growth over the past few years, and there is a good range of accommodations—everything from camping to five-star hotels.

While in Kenting, be sure to visit the National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium. It's spectacular, and it's easy to get to once you are in Kenting. A local bus passes by most of the area's main resorts and hotels to take you there.

The aquarium's attractions are quite numerous. Thousands of fish make their home in the sunken-ship display. The enormous tank is constructed in such a way that you can wander around the ship and have a view from nearly every angle.

The Deep Sea display depicts all the fish that are thought to be living at the deepest part of the ocean, many of which have rarely, if ever, been viewed by humans. These fish are represented in an amazing virtual-reality display that plays on the four walls around you. The exhibit is so vividly real, guests feel as if they are standing in the middle of a tank full of enormous sea creatures. Much science and imagination went into this display.

For more information on the National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium in Kenting, visit the Web site at http://www.nmmba.gov.tw.

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